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Bab El Sahra

Fall Grants 2023 - Development Stage

Salem Brahimi / Feature Narrative / Algeria, France, Saudi Arabia, Belgium, Qatar / 110 min / Original Language: Arabic, English, French / Interests: Action, Drama, Western


In the desert town of Bab El Sahra in North Africa, Gendarmerie Commander Hamid El Saber faces many challenges—tensions in the American-owned mine built by the Chinese, an influx of migrants, and threats from the borders with a neighbouring Sahel country on the brink of collapse. When Chinese workers hang a protest banner, they cause panic among Hamid’s superiors before the prime minister’s visit. Simultaneously, Hamid’s long-lost brother, Aziz, reemerges after years as an illegal immigrant in Spain. The Chinese workers stage a protest PR-stunt during the prime minister’s visit, who leaves furious. A few days later two explosions rock the mine. Everyone except Hamid is quick to accuse a Chinese worker.

Uncovering the truth, Hamid discovers that his brother Aziz is a member of a criminal and terrorist organization, making him the true culprit. Aziz vanishes. Hamid falls down the rabbit hole and unravels a plot involving Aziz and the Americans. Disobeying his orders, he sets out to find Aziz. The two brothers, determined to save one another, attack Aziz’s men, resulting in Aziz’s death. To keep the events at the mine secret, Hamid is offered a deal: retirement and immunity against his silence. He faces a new life with all the loss and the liberation that goes with it.


Salem Brahimi
Salem Brahimi
Alexandre Gavras, Mourad Belkeddar
Production Company
KG Productions, Iconoclast

About the Director

Salem learned his craft working with acclaimed storytellers such as Costa-Gavras, who produced Salem’s award-winning film ‘Let Them Come’. His films reflect his multicultural background, tackling important subjects while entertaining the audience. He boldly combined animation and live-action in ‘Abd-El-Kader’ and merged genres in ‘Let Them Come’, a sweeping exploration of Algeria’s civil war that is both a political thriller and an intimate character-driven piece. Salem is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and serves as a board member for DocA, an organisation dedicated to fostering documentary and storytelling development in Africa.

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